Southern Africa     Singapore

Republic of Seychelles

4/11/07 - 4/30/07

The Republic of Seychelles is comprised of a hundred and fifty or so islands that run all over the Indian Ocean. We visited the three main islands that hold almost the entire population of this little country of 50,000 or so people. The islands are known for the beaches and idyllic setting and we were pretty cynical going in. But we loved it. The beaches really are the most beautiful we've ever seen, the water is like a bathtub and the island scenery is wonderful. The locals were interesting. The islands were populated in just the last 200 or so years and by a mix of predominantly African, Indian and Chinese natives. We met some really friendly and helpful people, but the majority on the big islands seemed lulled into an island trance by the easy life that tourism can bring. They've become so dependent on tourism, they apparently do almost no farming or ranching. There's almost no fruit or vegetables to buy, and it's imported when you do find it!
But none of these details matter. The Seychelles are a wonderful place to visit. It's not backpacking, but prices actually aren't too bad and arguably cheap compared to Hawaiian resorts. For getting near private beaches with hardly any other tourists, locals or annoying touts and you've got a picture perfect vacation spot.


Mahe is the primary island and houses the capitol of the republic and maybe 75% of the population. We spent just a few days here to get oriented do a bit of hiking and relax on the nearby beaches. To me, this island seemed like Hawaii. Nice beaches, lots of people, resorts and traffic. Maybe the rest of the island is great, but I think it's probably more of the same. Resort city.

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La Digue

It's pretty simple for me. The tiny island of La Digue is the epitome of a natural island paradise. The entire island can be walked. There are only a couple dozen cars on the island - mostly taxis. Bicycles are a nicety, not a necessity to get to even the furthest beaches. And the beaches are stunningly beautiful. Ever seen a postcard or photo of the Seychelles. Chances are it was from the amazing Anse Source d'Argent on La Digue. Oh and I say 'natural' paradise because there are no major resorts here. It's almost entirely overgrown guest houses.

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Praslin (and St. Pierre and Curieuse)

We almost didn't make it here. La Digue was so great that we nearly stayed there for two weeks. But we decided to give Praslin a chance to be better than La Digue. Well, that didn't happen, but it's still a nice place. It's definitely more on the resorty end of things. The good beaches have restaurants and hotels or resorts. But even with that, there still aren't too many people around to share the beaches with. The amount of privacy in the islands is absolutely unreal. We went out to nearby St. Pierre Island for snorkeling, Curieuse Island to visit a tortoise sanctuary and then Ave Maria rock spit for some scuba diving.

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